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Old 09-25-2019, 04:28 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Chestermere AB
Posts: 239
audiophool is on a distinguished road
Very easy to get subjective with brakes, but:

I'm running Brembo Premium Ceramic on our '04 X5 (Blair), and Pagid on the '06 (un-named beast with no soul (according to SWMBO)). Both X5s have Brembo front rotors and chinoleum rears. Blair is rarely washed, and his wheels never have more than a light brown film visible. The newer X5 has OE type Pagid pads. The '06 is washed frequently and even with dark grey powdercoated rims shows extreme brake dust after only a few days of city driving. Both X5s have great cold 'bite', and both have excellent fade-free stopping under heavy braking, and neither has any noise.


I was so pleased with the performance of the Brembo Premium Ceramic pads on Blair that I recently 'pad slapped' a set on my 535xi. I'd put new Zimmerman rotors on all four corners about 18 months back and selected some Perfect Stop 'Exact Spec' pads. The cold bite with the Perfect Stop pads was horrible, bordering on dangerous. Heavy braking was OK once the pads heated up, but I couldn't even get the ABS clicking until I'd shed about 20kph and they finally started biting, and this car has 'panic braking assist'!!

Now I'm not usually a pad slapper, but I didn't feel like shelling out for another set of rotors when these had nearly no wear. I hacked out a way to put a non-directional tooth on the used rotors: I centered each rotor on a swivel-top stool and using a 60 grit belt on my belt sander, pressed the belt flat to the rotor face and 90 degrees from the rotor center. I let the traction of the belt turn the rotor against a little hand friction on the rotor, and slowly cut each face. I ended up with a very nice even crosshatch pattern on each face.

The first drive after changing pads was night and day for cold bite even without bed-in. Then I did the proper bed-in procedure on the highway (no, you don't smoke them), and since then I've had amazing brakes. I can get the ABS clicking instantly when dropping anchor at triple digit speeds, and the cold bite is just like the dusty OE pads. My wheels stay clean now too.
'06 X5 3.0i 5AT with 160,000km - Sterling Silver
'04 X5 3.0 5AT with 280,000km - Black
'08 535xi 6AT with 220,000km - Titanium Silver
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